The return of Putin

Hundreds of protesters were detained by Moscow police on Sunday a few blocks away from Kremlin. Twitpic by Roustem Adagamov.

Vladimir Putin was Monday sworn in as Russia’s president for the third time at a grandiose glittering ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace, a day after authorities were clubbing demonstrators a few blocks away.


436 protesters, including three opposition leaders, were detained by Moscow police on Sunday when tension boiled over at a demonstration a few blocks away from Kremlin. OMON-police forces were clubbing the demonstrators with batons, state-own news-agency RIA Novosti reports.

The opposition leaders arrested were Sergei Udlatsov, anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov.

It is a divided Russia Vladimir Putin takes over. Putin won the March 4 presidential election with 63 percent of the votes. Opposition leaders and international observers claim the victory come after an unfair election campaign and legitimate uncertainty about the vote. Protesters in Moscow chanted slogans saying “Russia without Putin” and “Putin is a thief.”

Bloggers in Moscow informs that more arrests took place Monday morning as protesters tried to get near Putin’s cortege on way to inauguration. All central streets near Kremlin were closed off and empty with heavy security presence. Also Russian pro-Kremlin media reports openly about the arrests and mass-protests taking place in Moscow.

Russia Today wrote on Monday: “These clashes send a clear signal to Putin, as he comes back for a third presidential term, that he has to find a way to deal with this new-found hostility.”

Vladimir Putin himself said during the inauguration that he will protect the freedom: 

“I swear on the power invested in my as president of the Russian Federation to respect and protect the rights and freedom of its citizens,” Putin said with his right hand placed on a red-bound copy of the Russian Constitution, in the inauguration ceremony broadcasted live on most state TV channels. A transcript of what was said at the ceremony is posted on the president’s portal. 

Putin is now entering his third term as president after he in 2008 was forced to step down after two subsequent terms in office. After four menopause years with Dmitri Medvedev as president, Vladimir Putin can now in theory take another two terms. Presidential term in Russia is now six years.

Outgoing president Dmitri Medvedev tweets a short message on Monday afternoon: “Thanks to everyone for their support over the past four years as President of Russia. Our dialogue will continue. There is much work ahead!”